Shaver Proposes Sr. Tax Freeze

True to his campaign promise, newly elected 2nd district commissioner Austin Shaver,  proposed for Loudon County to adopt the state authorized Senior Citizen Tax Freeze passed by the voters in 2006. Shaver told the other commissioners at Monday's commission workshop that he felt it was time for commission to adopt the tax freeze given it's overwhelming support by the voters in 06. Tennessee voters overwhelmingly voted to implement a property tax freeze. Loudon County was no different voting to implement the tax freeze by a vote of 12,445 or 83% for the amendment and 2,431 opposed. That's a more than five to one margin who supported the tax freeze.

The tax freeze has an income limit of around $33,000.00 and would include the primary residence and up to five acres. While the voters approved the measure, it still requires a vote of the county commission to implement the program.

At the end of his presentation to commission, commissioner Don Miller raised concerns about the tax freeze given the unknown future of the board of education's building plan. Commissioners Wayne Gardin and Nancy Marcus both felt that the voters didn't know what they were doing when they voted for the tax freeze stating if they (the voters) understood the details of what they were voting for they wouldn't have voted for it. Austin stated that he felt the voters clearly understood the measure and it was incumbent on the commission to listen to their constitutions. Commissioner Gardin said he had had only one call from a constituent and he felt this was a bad idea.

Shaver told the board he understood their concerns but once again it was clearly the will of the voters. According to Austin, the state estimated that Loudon County would have approximately 700-900 property owners who would qualify for the tax freeze. Shaver said he didn't mind that commissioners wanted a little more time to study the matter but it was his hope that commission would pass the tax freeze before the end of the year so that those who qualify could take advantage of the current tax rate.